If you've forgotten the rollercoaster of emotions that was Feel Good’s season one finale, let us catch you up to speed. After Mae (Mae Martin) and George (Charlotte Ritchie) ended their relationship, Mae headed out on a self-destructive bender which culminated in a cocaine binge with a friend from Narcotics Anonymous. Worried about the state of their sobriety, Mae booked a ticket home to Canada to seek professional help. But when George invited Mae for a post-breakup debrief, she revealed that she was ready to claim their relationship publicly and even introduced Mae to her very posh mum. It was a less than perfect gesture but the pair ended up falling into bed together, leaving the series on an intentionally ambiguous cliffhanger.
Now, the UK series is waving goodbye to its original home of Channel 4 and moving to Netflix to continue the next six episodes. Season two picks up directly after the events of the finale, with Mae pulling up to a rehab facility in Canada. Driven there by their mother, Linda (Lisa Kudrow), the stand-up comedian is forced to listen to an inspirational poem before being packed off with a flask of soup for their stay. Though Mae is greeted at the facility like an old friend, it's clear that they are less than comfortable in their new surroundings, struggling to recover from both an explosive breakup and a recent relapse.
Elsewhere, we learn that George is convinced that the relationship still has legs. Admitting that things got a bit messy – mostly down to George's refusal to integrate Mae into her wider life – she’s on a mission to distract herself while Mae 'visits family' in Canada. Amid frenzied kitchen clear-outs and meltdowns about the decline of bees, George is relieved to finally receive a call from Mae but separated by continents, the two are left to contemplate whether they were ever any good for one another.
Despite the rather serious-sounding subject matter, those who wanted a second season full of lols won’t leave disappointed. The show knows how to poke fun at the entertainment industry and as Mae continues on their journey to hit the stand-up comedy big time, they are bombarded with comments from corporate execs about how vulnerability and sadness is cool and super 'now'. But while there are jokes aplenty, the heart of the story remains heavy, drawing inspiration from Mae’s real-life experiences with substance abuse. Discussing PTSD, panic attacks, trauma bonding and intimacy addiction, Feel Good doesn’t shy away from the not-so-shiny topics, rooting the series in moving and affecting storylines.
That said, the show's creators are careful always to undercut the seriousness with humour. In one standout scene in which Mae is asked what they identify as, they answer: "An Adam Driver or Ryan Gosling type." While the first season saw Mae exploring the idea of gender in their stand-up routines, the second season honours Mae's place in the non-binary community, proving just how important it is to have conversations surrounding pronouns on mainstream television.
Having received a BAFTA nomination for their work on the first season, you might assume that the writers would have kicked Feel Good’s production into high gear but fans of the show can rest easy knowing that the heartfelt comedy remains as scrappy and awkward as ever. Unpacking the intensity of falling in love, the pain of addiction and the nervous excitement of building a career, Feel Good's second series is a near-perfect continuation of its funny and thought-provoking story.
Feel Good Season 2 premieres Friday 4th June on Netflix.
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